9 - 1 1 R e s e a r c h essays

Video of the Pentagon Attack:
What is the Government Hiding?

by
Jim Hoffman
Version 1.0, May 18, 2006; Originally published, May 16, 2006

Today [May 16, 2006], the DOD released two videos from Pentagon security cameras, through JudicialWatch.org. One of the videos includes the five frames leaked in 2002. The new frames, including several from a different camera, add almost nothing to the body of public evidence about the Pentagon attack on 9/11/01. Since the new videos don't show an airplane, they promise to fuel debates about what hit the Pentagon, rather than put them to rest.

The US government has for years refused to release video evidence that might undermine the popularity of the "no-Boeing" theories. Today's release did not include video recordings from nearby businesses seized by the FBI within minutes of the attack.

Judicial Watch's Freedom of Information Act Request, filed on December 14, 2004, is similar to another request, documented at Flight77.info, filed on October 14, 2004. Both sought to obtain all of the camera recordings of the attack, including those from other Pentagon security cameras, ones seized from the Sheraton National Hotel and Nexcomm/Citgo gas station, and those managed by the Virginia Department of Transportation. The Pentagon had refused to release its recordings before today, claiming they were "part of an ongoing investigation involving Zacarias Moussaoui."

Most people who have heard of challenges to the official account (that cells of al Qaeda operatives were solely responsible for the attack) have heard of the theory that the Pentagon was not hit by a jetliner. The theory has been in circulation since early 2002, with the Hunt the Boeing website and Thierry Meyssan's Big Lie and Le Pentagate. The no-Boeing theories, which come in small-plane, missile, and truck bomb, variants, have flourished in the vacuum of video evidence, and served as a straw man with which to smear all challenges to the official account of the attack.

The refusal of authorities to release video evidence has been cited by supporters of Pentagon no-jetliner theories as evidence that Flight 77 wasn't there. If the government has proof that Flight 77 hit the Pentagon, why doesn't it make it public? Perhaps because it serves the cover-up to keep the sideshow debate about what hit the Pentagon going. In 2004, I suggested that the question of what hit the Pentagon was a huge distraction. Analysis of physical evidence of the attack shows that what's known of the damage and debris fits the crash of Flight 77.

Today Mike Berger was interviewed by ABCNews.com for the story New Tape Stirs Up 9/11 Conspiracy Theories. If Berger had used the interview to point out that the no-Boeing theory is a distraction, you wouldn't know that from the story. Instead, ABCNews.com quoted Berger as stating:

Four-and-a-half years later, we still don't have definitive proof that a plane hit that building.

In selecting this quotation, ABCNews.com may have misrepresented Berger's intention. Nevertheless, the statement necessarily implies that the following is possible:

  1. That the scores of eyewitness reports of a jetliner were faked, coerced, or coincidentally mistaken.
  2. That the damage to the Pentagon, including an approximately 100-foot-wide expanse of punctured facade walls on the first floor, were somehow produced by a means other than a plane.
  3. That fires that smelled like burning jet fuel, running about 200 feet across the facade of the Pentagon, were produced by some other means, or the photographs were faked.
  4. That the aircraft debris, some of it clearly identifiable as from an American Airliners 757, was planted.
  5. That the swath of downed lamp-poles the width of a 757's wing span were sliced and knocked over by some other means, and that smashed objects lying in the paths of the engines were damaged by some other means.
  6. That the identification of human remains of Flight77's crew and passengers was fraudulent.
  7. That Flight 77 was destroyed and all on board were disposed of at some unknown location.

To believe that the Pentagon was not hit by Flight 77 requires one to accept points 6 and 7. To believe that no plane hit the Pentagon, one has to accept all seven points.

Experience has shown that the goal of virtually all mainstream media news articles is to smear the entire 9/11 Truth Movement with the idea that no plane hit the Pentagon. The ABCNews article is a good example of cherry-picking a key sentence out of a long interview to define the Movement in a way that serves an agenda.

The no-jetliner theories may be the primary manifestation of a psychological operation designed to prevent rational examination of the attack by polarizing people around the issue of what hit the Pentagon. The many (easily explained) perceived anomalies that flourish in the evidence vacuum give the issue an X-Files-type intrigue. The implication of such theories that Flight 77 and its passengers disappeared is reflexively offensive to people who identify with the victims, and feeds stereotypes that all questioning of the official story is the product of irrational "conspiratorial thinking."



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